I can’t believe this is a post I’m writing but here we are.
Ever since Dune came out it’s been kind of obvious that it would garner a bunch of award nominations thanks to Denis Villeneuve doing something no other director has been able to manage; make a great Dune movie.
It managed to surpass my expectations and showed that the film was adaptable to the big screen after all. So far, the film has not won any major awards yet but with the Critics’ Choice Awards hopefully, just a few weeks away (it was supposed to take place on January 9 but with the sudden outburst of COVID it’s been delayed indefinitely) it’ll be the first test on whether the sci-fi epic has a real shot at nabbing Best Picture next year.
It however does have some stiff competition against the critically-acclaimed Netflix film The Power of the Dog directed by Jane Campion (The Piano) thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch’s rave reviews for his apparent outstanding performance as an incredibly mean homosexual cowboy. The role has been said by many to be his best performance.
And then there’s Kenneth Branagh’s under-the-radar Belfast which has started to ramp up as one of the best films of the year.
I just watched Arrival yesterday after not having seen it for a while and wow, I really love this movie. In fact, it’s one of my top ten favorite movies of all time. I just can’t get enough of the brilliant screenplay and the outstanding performances of Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner in this visually masterful handling of a sci-fi film. Denis Villeneuve is a master of this genre.
Considering how much I enjoyed the film last night I wanted to revisit this review I wrote celebrating the beauty of this one-of-a-kind film. Enjoy!
I went to see Arrival roughly five years ago when it sprung into theaters around the country. I went to watch it because it was garnering immense praise from critics and it seemed like an interesting science fiction film to watch. After seeing it I, for the most part, enjoyed it but its plot was confusing and I didn’t fully understand what was going on. It ended up being nominated for Best Picture that year, showing that the praise it received was somewhat legitimate. I, however, hadn’t watched the movie since…until a couple of days ago.
I was bored and looking for a fun movie to watch in the middle of the day. I came across Arrival and considering that I had only seen the film once about a year and half ago I figured I might as well give it a go again and see if I’ll understand it a little better the second time around. As soon as it came on I knew that I was going to enjoy the movie immensely.
The cinematography was beautiful and immediately sucked me in with its dark tones. The music, composed by the recently deceased Jóhan Jóhannsson (Sicario,) is perfectly alien and it works brilliantly with the overall film. But what struck me the most about the movie wasn’t the colorful tones of the movie’s scenes or the way the music gave me chill bumps but rather the originality of the story.
So, over the past couple of days I’ve watched some pretty popular films; War Horse and Lethal Weapon. Both were memorable and I have strong opinions on both of them so with no further delay, here are my reviews for each movie.
Well, Lethal Weapon was not what I expected. Yeah, it’s a classic buddy-comedy duo type of a movie but it wasn’t as funny as Rush Hour and Bad Boys. Instead, it was a more serious film with humorous tones in it and I kind of liked that twist.
Mel Gibson’s suicidal Martin Riggs was a different type of a police officer and he ultimately got me invested in the story when I was kind of watching the film bored. The movie was good but at times it felt like a true-blue 80s’ film and that’s not always a good thing.
The scenarios Riggs and Murtaugh (Danny Glover) constantly found themselves in and out of at times felt ridiculous and totally cliche. But the movie was somewhat enjoyable and I understand why it is as famous as it is. I don’t think I’ll be watching it again though anytime soon.
Die Hard, however, a fellow action movie that had a Christmas setting in Los Angeles that came out just a year after Lethal Weapon, is far better though in casting, story, and action.
My mother has been talking about Lost in Translation for a while now and how good a movie it is. I finally saw it the other day and yeah, it is a great film.
Sofia Coppola, who wrote and directed the film, won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and deservedly so. This movie is a beautiful story of two people who find themselves rethinking their lives in Tokyo, Japan who just so happen to run into each other and form a beautiful friendship. These two characters being Scarlett Johansson’s Charlotte and Bill Murray’s Bob Harris.
Charlotte is a young woman who is questioning her two-year-old marriage with a young photographer whose investment in her seems like a second thought. And Bob Harris is a faded actor who’s in Japan trying to sell advertising for a whiskey company. His twenty-five-year long marriage is getting a bit stale, he’s slightly annoyed with his wife who seems to barely have time to talk with him across seas.
Charlotte and Bob’s relationship in this movie is a beautiful twist on the idea of two people having an affair. Even though they’re married and even though their feelings for one another can be seen as slightly sexual, Coppola writes them in a way where they feel cemented as good friends, not sexual partners. And I appreciated that!
You see the title of this post? It’s not an exaggeration. Life of Pi, a film that was nominated for eleven Oscars, including Best Picture, and won four of them back in 2013, is undoubtedly the most beautiful and one of the most stirring films I have ever seen.
Before roughly about a week or two ago I had never heard of this film. I’ve never seen it on any lists for classics or movie buff essentials. I’ve never seen a single commercial for it or heard any chatter about it. And then one day I’m browsing through HBO Max and I stumble upon it. My sister and I saw the featured image for the film,
this, and immediately I said to myself, “I don’t want to watch that.” So we put it off, instead choosing to watch other great classics like Kramer vs. Kramer and The Green Mile. (By the way, The Green Mile freaked me out and made me utterly bawl my eyes out. Ugh, it hurt. Great movie. A+)
And then yesterday, instead of watching Citizen Kane which is another movie I know I’ve got to watch one day but I keep not getting the urge to, we decided to tackle Life of Pi because why not.
What transpired thereafter was two hours and seven minutes of me and my sister being utterly transfixed. From the opening minutes to the last, Oscar-winning director Ang Lee brings to life a story that feels like it’s right out of the pages of maybe one of the most transfixing children’s books ever written.
There are two writer/directors that are making waves in both blockbuster films and thoughtful Oscar-buzz worthy movies. They are Taika Waititi and Rian Johnson.
In 2017, Waititi and Johnson got a chance to share their writing chops with blockbuster movies that moved the particular stories in bold new directions. Waitit helped direct and steer the third Thor movie, Thor: Ragnarok, in a direction that was both brilliant and very entertaining. Thor, whose first two previous movies are considered on the bottom of totem pole in the MCU desperately needed an upgrade and Waititi’s vision gave him a story worth caring about while allowing Chris Hemsworth to let his comedic chops shine.